Daily Archives: July 20, 2011
This will be my 1st time implementing the CAFE structure in my 6th grade classroom, and I can’t wait! I feel that this is really going to help guide my students to where THEY need to be individually! I think sometimes we get so bogged down in “teaching the curriculum” that we forget to “teach the students”. Yes, we have to teach the curriculum (Alabama Course of Study Standards), but we hear so much about “differentiated instruction”-do we really do it?
The CAFE structure allows you to teach each student on their level and help them with their own individual needs. Here is the simple breakdown of CAFE as defined by The Two Sisters.
Since I teach an upper grade I am planning on changing the A-accuracy to A-awareness. 6th graders still need to work with breaking words down to read more fluently, but it is not the MAIN component of a 6th grade classroom.
I have been researching this structure for a couple of months now-I bought and read the book (see picture above), joined in discussions about the CAFE, looked at other teachers’ websites/blogs to get a feeling on how they set it up in their classroom and what they have learned about it, and I also joined the website: http://www.thedailycafe.com/
This website has crucial information if you are planning on using this structure in your classroom. The website offers some free stuff, but you can also pay a fee to have complete access to lots more-articles, teacher ideas, and even videos.
As I was looking today (since we will be back in school in a couple of weeks), I came across this free video of The Two Sisters teaching a mini-lesson in a 6th grade whole group setting. This is how I plan on beginning our year with the CAFE system. Watch for yourself and leave a comment to tell me what you think.
What plans do you have for implementing the CAFE in your classroom? Have you already planned a week’s worth of mini-lessons for the beginning of school?
Here is a picture of my CAFE strategy board in my room-still have lots more to do! Anyone want to help?
Are you ready to ride the random wave? Well, get ready for a whole lot of nothing!
I am a glutton for punishment. I tend to overextend myself ALL THE TIME! So you know that I already teach for a living-that is my career. However, I also work a part-time job (June was 2 years that I have been doing this). It’s the same company that my husband works for(except he works in Georgia during the entire week-we actually live in Alabama). I just take care of the Georgia account doing the tickets, spreadsheets, and the invoicing. It’s a really great job because 90% of it I get to do at my house on the laptop. The only thing I have to go to the office for is the invoicing once each month. The kicker is that I tend to “procrastinate”(I would look up that definition for you, but I think I’ll do it later!). So, this is what my part-time job stuff looks like-there is a ticket book for each day so just imagine what a full month looks like!
This is NOT a picture of all that I have to do for July (obviously, since July is not over yet). I gotta get busy!
OK-on to the next thing. I teach in a small town about 7 miles away from my very small town that I live in. In the past I have helped out a man that owns a convenience store when he needed to go do something, and last summer I worked while he went on vacation. So, this summer he asked me to help some, too. In June I worked for him 2 days, but this week I have worked 3 days and have 4 more to go. Here is the store:
I like working for him-I get to do teacher stuff, get on the internet, read, etc. while I’m here (and I’m HERE right now!). But here is the thing: I.have.to.open.the.store.at.5am. Did you get that? That means I have to wake up at 4am-now, I don’t even think the roosters wake up in our neck of the woods until about 5:30 so you understand how early this is for me???!!! This is a picture of me at 5am this morning:
You ought to be REAL proud of me-look at that smile-I’m trying to pretend I’m awake!!!! Do NOT pay attention to the hair-yes, I washed it and dried it this morning, but it got slapped into a ponytail REAL quick (that was at about 4:35 am this morning).
Now-on to the good stuff-check out my breakfast!
Now, before you start really feeling sorry for me I’ve got to admit something. I actually like this kind of food! Yes, I’m a country girl. The only thing that would top this breakfast off might be a pickled egg or something!
I’m sure I have totally bored you so far, but hey-it’s summer and you don’t have anything better to do right now so keep on reading! Let’s back up to last night. This summer I signed up for 3 online classes (FREE and offered through our state department). Yes, now I have confirmed that I am a glutton for punishment! The 3 classes are ending this week-I finished 2 last night, but one was causing a little trouble for me. I had written my entire final project lesson plan, saved it, and COULD NOT FIND IT to post online!!! OMG! I thought I was going to have a stroke. So I did the only thing I knew to do at that particular moment.
I had a snack!
Yeah, yeah-you are wishing you were me right about now! And just for the record-I am only finished with my cereal when the milk is gone! No self control!
I was feeling better after awhile (well, sort of sick but better all the same) so I went back to the laptop and FOUND MY PROJECT. It was under downloads instead of documents! Who would have thought????? Now I’m almost finished with this last class-the only thing I have to do is a peer review of someone else’s project. About to do that after this very important post!
Here is the last thing that I want to tell you, and you’re gonna love this.
At our school we use the Scott Foresman Reading Street reading program in K-6. It is very overwhelming because it has LOTS of stuff to do that you would never be able to get to. You just have to use your best judgment on what to teach. One VERY controversial thing about the program is that the weekly selection tests that go with the weekly story are HARD. HARD. VERY HARD. They require the kids to be critical thinkers! Now this is a good thing, but they are downright tricky. I am telling you that if I read the story and took the test without looking at the teacher’s edition my grades would range from A-C. And I consider myself an EXCELLENT reader.
Anyways, I am constantly surfing the web for teacher stuff/ideas to use in my classroom. The other day I was on proteacher.net (wonderful teacher discussion board) and came across a thread of posts about the Scott Foresman Reading Street tests. The overall “theme/tone” of the posts was that the tests were TOO difficult. One poster summed it up real well. I am going to paraphrase for you:
“Well, I think that old Scott Foresman should be locked in a jail cell and made to read his stories over and over and over and over and then let the parents test him.”
All I can say is, “You go girl!”